Photo by: Photo by Derek Red
WHEELING – The unique Robinson does not want anyone, especially any child, to think he has unmanageable hair.
It’s not that it is impossible to manage hair, said the social worker in Ohio County schools. It’s that people are not aware of the right processes and the right products to manage it.
Robinson, Bridge Street High School and YWCA Wheeling offered people from all over the county the opportunity to learn about these processes and products at Monday’s Textured Hair show at BSMS. A number of books and stylists have been set up in the school’s gym to offer tips and tutorials on how to style and manage textured hair.
The purpose of the show, Robinson said, was not only to offer these tips, but to help parents and guardians of children with textured hair help these children feel better about themselves and their hair.
“For me,” she said, “it was mostly about how we change that narrative from an unmanageable hair owner to, we just do not use the right products for your hair texture.”
The idea came from a conversation between Robinson and Bridge Street manager Jessica Bersky-Birch. They were in a professional learning session and discussed how to bring people to schools as a community center. Ron Scott, director of cultural diversity and community outreach for YWCA Wheeling, was with them and mentioned a project he was working on. Robinson loved the idea, and the Texture Hair Show was born.
While many of the tips were particularly helpful to African-American and bisexual students, Robinson said families of any race or ethnicity could learn some helpful lessons on Monday. Some parents, she said, simply do not have the talent to care for and style textured hair, and Robinson could identify. She said her mother could not control it, and only when she was an adult did Robinson realize it herself.
“I had to go to college to meet people from Washington DC and Florida who said, ‘Hey girl, you do not know what you’re doing, let me help you,’ Robinson said.
Photo by: Photo by Derek Red
Among the stylists and books attending Monday’s event were Rick Lee from Just Me Salon, Kylie Williams from Lawis Salon, Jessica Wesley from Frederick’s Spa Salon, Ashley Byrd from Ball Artistry, Chad Stradwick from Stradwick’s Fade Cave, and Luke Steed. From Stallion Cutz and freelance. The book Zack Zdonchik. Zdonchik grew up in the area, but immigrated from Atlanta to be part of the Expo.
“Every time I find a way to give back to the community I grew up in, it’s an amazing feeling,” he said. “I’m honored to be asked to help.”
Zdonchik spent some time on Monday giving young defender Thompson a fresh haircut. Thompson’s aunt Juanita Allen is very happy to see such an event come to life.
“It’s wonderful,” she said. “They have really great numbers here. They make everyone’s hair texture.”
Lee said that one of the most important things people can take from the expo is how a good haircut or style can elevate a person’s spirit. This is one of the reasons why she does what she does.
“Your hair is your signature,” she said. “Everyone wants to feel good. It can help your attitude. It can help your personality. I love when I’m done with a little girl’s hair, or even a grown woman’s, and they smile and say to me, ‘You do not know how good you made me feel today.'”
This is especially important for children, Bersky-Birch said. By understanding how to best care for their hair, they enjoy the confidence boost that carries them throughout the day.
“I want students to feel like they can come in here and feel safe and not feel like they have to fit into the straight hair pattern they see everywhere else,” Bersky-Birch said, “and they can find beauty in what they have.”